The Tulsa City Council is expected to authorize the sale of $25 million in bonds for a new Tulsa Drillers ballpark.
The Tulsa City Council is expected to authorize the sale of $25 million in bonds for a new Tulsa Drillers (Class AA; Texas League) ballpark.
The vote, scheduled for today’s council meeting, will be issued on behalf of the Tulsa Stadium Trust and repaid through assessments levied against downtown businesses. The $60-million funding plan calls for $30 million in private donations, $25 million from the downtown business tax, and $5 million from the Drillers. Of the $60 million, $40 million will go toward the ballpark, while the rest is slated to pay for the financing and spur development in the surrounding Greenwood neighborhood. The ballpark is slated to open in the 2011 season.
Two issues raised by ballpark supporters: the city’s exposure in case of default and the prospects of selling the bonds in a tough economic market. On the first point: the city is shielded in case of default, as the Stadium Trust would be forced to liquidate assets to replay the bonds. On the second point: city officials say they’ve talked with Oklahoma lenders who are able to buy the bonds, though there are contigency plans should they not be sold in December.